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Published Date: 07/11/2017

With Toyota vehicles renowned for their impressive reliability, high build quality and comfortable interiors, any family looking for a 4x4 would be off to a great start by shortlisting the RAV4 and Landcruiser – but how do they compare?

Pick your size

The most obvious distinction between these two capable Toyota vehicles is size. The RAV4 compact SUV’s length of 4,605mm compared to the Landcruiser’s 4,780mm might not look much different numerically, but the Landcruiser is considerably larger in the flesh. This is especially so when it comes to height, standing 1,890mm tall against the 1,675mm RAV4, which is worth bearing in mind when it comes to ease of access for young children and older or less able adults.

In terms of styling, the RAV4 looks the more modern, echoing the firm’s attractive Auris in many respects, with sleek headlights, attractive LED signatures front and rear, a rakish roofline and futuristic detailing. The larger Landcruiser appears tough, rugged and capable of anything – which is what this vehicle is all about. Its expansive grille ensures formidable road presence while its relatively straight silhouette translates into optimum interior and boot space. Kids will love either car, perhaps getting a little more excited by the sheer size of the Landcruiser.

Conclusion: For sleek and futuristic styling, go with the attractive RAV4

Family-friendly interiors

Calmness and tranquillity radiate from the RAV4’s comfortable, well-built and generously appointed interior, which is a welcome step away from the overly radical cabins of some of its rivals. Drivers of all ages will find the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system logical to operate, and the car’s other controls are nicely sized and ergonomically thoughtful. Entry level Active trim comes with rear privacy class, heated door mirrors, cruise control, hill start assist, a reversing camera, comfortable seats finished in Kuro black fabric and a 7-inch touchscreen. Excel specification RAV4s are fitted with leather upholstery and driver’s seat memory, while options include rear entertainment for keeping kids and teenagers entertained on longer journeys and additional safety technology. With the rear seats in use, the RAV4 offers 547 litres of luggage space, which is plentiful for most families, while the hybrid provides 501 litres.

Taking the elevated seating position of its mid-size SUV sibling to a whole new level, the Toyota Landcruiser’s cabin is perfect for soaking in the scenery on even longer journeys and customers can opt for two extra seats - turning it into a full 7-seater. Active trim again means comfortable fabric seats and the Landcruiser’s dashboard will certainly stand up to typical family antics. Opulent wood and leather are available for those seeking heightened luxury from their SUV and as well as a multitude of seating configurations that allow the carrying of large loads, the Landcruiser can be specified with side cameras to make parking easier. With the 3rd seat row folded into the boot floor, 621 litres are at a Landcruiser driver’s disposal, which reduces to 104 litres with the extra two seats raised. Although less practical for families, the Landcruiser is also available in 3-door guise with five seats.

Conclusion: The impressive Landcruiser makes light work of 7-seater family duties

Perfectly suited powertrains

Toyota’s popular and much-loved mid-size RAV4 SUV covers all bases with its range of engines.

  • The 2.0 petrol version is highly appealing with a combination of 152bhp and all-wheel drive for added reassurance in all weathers. Offering combined fuel consumption of upto 43.5mpg alongside emissions of 152g/km CO2, it’s an excellent choice for families.
  • The RAV4 is also available in 2.0 diesel guise, this time front-wheel drive and with 143bhp. It’s the pick for business fleets or for families who drive more than 20,000 miles per year, with 60.1mpg combined at the pump and CO2 emissions of 123g/km.
  • Families keen to drive a green SUV will love the relaxing 2.5 Hybrid petrol model, which has a total power output of 197bhp plus 55.4mpg and 118g/km CO2. Although the hybrid version’s 112mph top speed doesn’t match the diesel variant’s 121mph, it  accelerates to 62mph in just 8.4 seconds thanks to help from the electric motor, making it the fastest RAV4 choice.

The revered Landcruiser is a global icon, with a reputation for being the leading 4x4 capable of tackling the roughest terrains. Its dimensions are considerable, particularly in 5-door guise, so it naturally relies on diesel power for optimal efficiency.

The highlight of its 177bhp 2.8-litre diesel powerplant is potent torque of 420Nm, making the Landcruiser a fantastic car for towing the family caravan, bikes or a trailer. It’s able to power this large vehicle to 109mph through a 0-62mph time of 12.1 seconds, so as long as a family is comfortable with 38.2mpg combined and 194g/km CO2, this incredible vehicle can cover vast distances capably, complete with plenty of luggage.

Conclusion: unless you mainly drive on the motorway and cover vast mileages, the RAV4 Hybrid is brilliant

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Upholding Toyota’s tradition for producing highly dependable, comfortable and practical cars, the mid-size RAV4 and large Landcruiser are each excellent cars for families, the latter taking care of 7-seater requirements.


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